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My Garden Diary

November and December 2018

Copyright © 2018 by David E. Ross

Many years ago, when I first started my Web site, I created an online diary of my gardening activities and observations. However, with work and the commute from Hell, I was often so tired I had to choose between maintaining my garden and maintaining my diary. Sometimes, I did neither. In 1998, I stopped my diary and removed the pages from my Web site. 7

Now I am retired. I am well-rested and have plenty of time to both garden and maintain a diary. This diary is primarily for my own benefit, so that I can look back upon what I did and when. But I thought others might also be interested, so here it is.

Also see What's Blooming in My Garden Now?


January-February 2013
March-April 2013
May-June 2013
July-August 2013
September-October 2013
November-December 2013
January-February 2014
March-April 2014
May-June 2014
July-August 2014
September-October 2014
November-December 2014
January-February 2015
March-April 2015
May-June 2015
July-August 2015
September-October 2015
November-December 2015
January-February 2016
March-April 2016
May-June 2016
July-August 2016
September-October 2016
November-December 2016
January-February 2017
March-April 2017
May-June 2017
July-August 2017
September-October 2017
November-December 2017
January-February 2018
March-April 2018
May-June 2018
July-August 2018
September-October 2018

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012

Entries below are in reverse order (latest at the top). Daily, I might stoop to pull a weed or use a hose to water some potted plants; however, I don't consider those significant gardening activities. Thus, you will not see daily entries. Also, I might accumulate a few entries before updating this page on the Web.

When plants have well-known common names, their scientific names are given only the first time they appear on this page (entry closest to the bottom). There, the common name is in bold or appears as a link to another Web page.

Dates without years refer to other entries in the same year as the entry in which they appear — including entries on prior pages for the same year — unless a different year is given.

Date and Weather Observations and Activities
9 December

Overcast, some hazy sun, and cool

Temp: 54-66
Winter chill: 2.0 hours
Humidity: 42%
Wind: 1-14

Rain —
This rain-year: 3.81
Week: 2.19

Raked, raked, and raked leaves some more. Just from the leaves in front, I nearly filled the garden-waste bin for the county's composting program. And that did not include the leaves I used to mulch the front lawn where the existing mulch was thin or nonexisting.

Went onto the bottom of My Hill behind the slough wall to trim the African daisies (Osteospermum fruticosum) and English ivy (Hedera helix) that were growing over the wall. If I allowed them to remain, the daisies would drop seeds that would result in new plants overwhelming the rose bed. Once, I neglected this task and found ivy shoots at the bottom in front of the wall that took root in the rose bed. While I was there, I also trimmed some of the dwarf Burford holly (Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii Nana') where it was interfering with the hill sprinklers.

25 November

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 55-72
Winter chill: 0.0 hours
Humidity: 43%
Wind: 3-19

Rain —
This rain-year: 0.86
Week: 0.49

Rainfall is well ahead of last year's: 0.86 inches versus 0.05. I hope this continues.

Put up cuttings of the nephthytis (Syngonium podophyllum) from the greenhouse window in the breakfast room and of the variegated pothos (E. pinnatum 'Aureum') hanging in the blue bathroom.

Trimmed two of the 'Goodwin Creek Grey' lavender (Lavandula lanata × dentata) in the circular bed in back. They had not yet encroached on neighboring plants, but the were close.

The rooted cutting of a 'Simply Marvelous' rose has lost all of its leaves. I hope it survives. In the meantime, one of the cactus cuttings (14 Sep) has a few roots; I did not check the others.

Leaves on the weeping Chinese banyans (Ficus benjamina) are dusted with ashes from the Woolsey Fire. I will have to use the hose to rinse the entire plant. Since the ashes do not seem to both it, however, I will wait until the start of spring, after I prune it.

13 November

Mostly cloudy, some hazy sun, and cool

Temp: 59-70
Winter chill: 0.0 hours
Humidity: 5%
Wind: 11-30 (with gusts to 47)

When the Woolsey wildfire forced us to leave our home and evacuate Oak Park, we finally wound up this past weekend at the home of a long-time friend. She had a Phalaenopsis 'Fuller's Sunset' orchid in her kitchen that she really did not want, so she gave it to us. It was in a small plastic pot with moss. Today, I replanted it in a larger clay pot with bark chips.

Rain —
This rain-year: 0.37
Week: 0.02

7 November

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 52-71
Winter chill: 0.0 hours
Humidity: 58%
Wind: 0-12

Finished applying gypsum to my garden. For the front and back yards combined, I used over 220 pounds of gypsum.

NOTE: I do not apply gypsum to My Hill. Gypsum reacts chemically with clay soils to make them more granular and porous. That would destabilize My Hill during a rain storm.


Rain —
This rain-year: 0.36
Week: 0.01

4 November

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 69-86
Winter chill: 0.0 hours
Humidity: 12%
Wind: 0-11

Spread gypsum over part of the back lawn and perennials growing within the area of the lawn. After carrying around a pail that started with about 30 pounds of gypsum, my back would not allow me to finish.

Rain —
This rain-year: 0.35
Days since last: 22

2 November

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 71-90
Humidity: 15%
Wind: 2-21

Rain —
This rain-year: 0.35
Days since last: 20

Spread gypsum over the east bed in back and the rose bed in front. The sprinkler systems in my garden rinse the gypsum into the soil. However, the rose bed in front is beyond the sprinklers and is irrigated with drip emitters targeted to irrigate only the roses. The drip system does not irrigate the valley white oak (Quercus lobata), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), or the dwarf coyote bush (Baccharis pilularis), all of which are very drought tolerant. The desired effect of the gypsum — to improve the texture of the soil — will thus be achieved over the entire front rose bed only when (if??) there is rain.

Dug several all-green plants out of a clump of variegated society garlic (Tulbaghia violacca 'Silver Lace'). When I guessed earlier (12 Oct) that I failed to remove all the roots of the intruder, I was correct.

Weather data are from the Cheeseboro (CHE) weather station, about 2 miles ENE of my house.

The high temperature (°F) is daytime for the indicated date; the low temperature (°F) is for the previous night.

Winter chill is the cumulative hours of temperatures at or below 45°F from 1 November through 31 March. It is reported during that period and through April.

The relative humidity is at noon. (In my garden, it is likely higher than reported, a result of regular irrigation.)

Wind speeds (mph) are average (not peak) low and high, midnight to midnight (subject to later correction for diary entries posted before the end of the day). I also indicate peak wind gusts parenthetically when they are significantly high.

Rain is in inches. Rain-year is the cumulative amount of rainfall from 1 October until 30 September of the following year (our "rain-year"). Week is the cumulative amount of measurable rainfall from noon seven days ago until noon of the indicated date. If no measurable rain fell in that period, Days since last is reported.

Characterization of the weather (e.g., Clear, sunny, and warm) is purely subjective; for example, "warm" might occur with higher temperatures than "hot" if the former occurs with lower humidity and more breezes than the latter. Also, a day that would normally be characterized as "mild" might instead be "warm" if the immediately previous days were quite cold. Finally, such characterization reflects when I was actually outside and gardening and ignores changes that occur while I am inside.

The signature line I use when writing messages about my garden includes the following:

Climate: California Mediterranean
Sunset Zone: 21 -- interior Santa Monica Mountains with some ocean influence (USDA 10a, very close to Sunset Zone 19)
See also My Climate.
September-October 2018
July-August 2018
May-June 2018
March-April 2018
January-February 2018
November-December 2017
September-October 2017
July-August 2017
May-June 2017
March-April 2017
January-February 2017
November-December 2016
September-October 2016
July-August 2016
May-June 2016
March-April 2016
January-February 2016
November-December 2015
September-October 2015
July-August 2015
May-June 2015
March-April 2015
January-February 2015
November-December 2014
September-October 2014
July-August 2014
May-June 2014
March-April 2014
January-February 2014
November-December 2013
September-October 2013
July-August 2013
May-June 2013
March-April 2013
January-February 2013

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012


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